Wumbo is a nonsensical term, originating from the television series Spongebob Squarepants, adopted by online communities, as a fun expression, with no true defined meaning.
In the episode it is mentioned as the opposite as the term “mini” by Patrick Star.
The term appeared in the season 3 episode 45 of the series, aired on January 21st, 2002 with the title Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy IV.
In the episode, the protagonist of the series, Spongebob is equipped with the utility belt of Mermaid Man, with which he shrinks his neighbor, Squidward.
After trying to figure out, how to turn back the transformation, Patrick explains that they should turn the initial M on the belt, that stands for mini, to W which stands for “wumbo”.
The starfish then proceeds to explaining the definition and various form of the made up word.
Spread and Usage
“Wumbo” gained a massive amount of appreciation from the fans of the cartoon, who created a plethora of images and video content on the subject, found on Tumblr, as well as YouTube.
The expression was defined on Urban Dictionary as early as 2002, with a large amount of other entries uploaded to the site since then.
- Know Your Meme – Wumbo